Wine Enthusiast expands editorial team | Inside Wine - November, 13th 2019

Inside Wine (Nov 13th, 2019)

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1. The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) sought public comments about wine and spirits bottles. The government agency is proposing an elimination to certain size standards to “provide consumers broader purchasing options," meaning we may get additional bottles sizes in addition to the ones we're accustomed to like the common 750ml, 500ml, 375ml, 100ml and 50ml sizes. The National Consumers League commented that the change could harm consumers, saying it would confuse them and make it easier for "unscrupulous suppliers will engage in deceptive conduct by varying container sizes in an effort to increase profits." The public comments section on this proposal closed on October 30, and the TTB has not yet announced its final decision. -- THE SPIRITS BUSINESS

2. Because they're often unfined, natural wines are often accidentally vegan. Natural winemakers aren't intentionally choosing to create vegan wines, but since the use of animal products comes into play with wine only during fining, these currently popular wines end up being vegan. During the fining process animal products like casein (dairy), egg whites, isinglass (fish bladders) or gelatin (made from boiled animal parts) are often used. Because of the rise in natural wines, vegan restaurants, like Philadelphia's Vedge, now have more options to put on there by the glass and by the bottle wine menus, giving customers more variety. -- SMART

3. Some of Chablis' wineries may lose their Burgundy status. The French appellations authority has released plans that would move some wineries in Chablis out of the Burgundy appellation and put them in the Beaujolais appellation. In a confusing way that seems fitting since French wine classifications are confusing – particularly to Americans – the ruling would only apply to wines that wanted to declassify from the high-end status of Burgundy to a lower-class status because of quality or commercial reasons. Growers and winemakers in Chablis are not happy about the proposed changes. -- WINE SEARCHER

4. Wine Enthusiast is expanding its digital presence and its editorial team. In a strategic restructure of its senior editorial teams, former Executive Editor Susan Kostrzewa – who has been with Wine Enthusiast for 13 years – has been promoted to editor-in-chief. Managing Editor Lauren Buzzeo’s role has been expanded to oversee print and digital editors in New York and globally. She has also been with the company for 13 years. And, Emily Saladino (formerly VinePair's editor-in-chief) has been hired as associate managing editor of digital. -- WINE ENTHUSIAST

5. SevenFifty Daily has named its 2019 Drinks Innovators. There are plenty of people in the wine industry, among these innovators whose ideas are moving the industry forward. They include winemaker Lourdes Martinez Ojeda who is bringing the winemaking techniques of Bordeaux to Baja California, Mexico; the co-founders of NYC's Rosé Mansion for cracking the code of wine education to the younger generation; and Rebecca Hopkins and Cathy Huyghe of A Balanced Glass for building a professional community that prioritizes self-care. -- SEVENFIFTY DAILY

6. Are stemmed wine glasses better than stemless? While we all may have our personal preference, some sommeliers weigh in on the question and determine that in the end, it all depends on what you're looking to get out of your wine-drinking experience. Restaurants should choose glasses that suit the atmosphere, which means that sometimes $200 bottles of wine are served in something more akin to a rocks glass than a wine glass. -- EATER

7. People are turning to Sherry once again, and it's becoming Spain's hippest sipper. Part of the reason is that mixologists are embracing the fortified wine as a cocktail mixer, but drinking it on its own is on the rise, too. This is a guide to what Sherry is and its styles, including this very useful piece of pithy pairing advice: If it swims, drink Fino. If it flies, Amontillado. If it runs, go with Oloroso. -- FORBES

8. Napa needs to attract millennials by creating something that's "not your parent's tasting room," according to one expert. Waiting for the generation to get a little older isn't going to work, says Rob McMillan, founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s wine division. One of his solutions: The experience needs to somehow include the outdoors, perhaps offering the bean bag-based game cornhole. (This is a far cry from the above-mentioned Rosé Mansion, isn't it?) -- NAPA VALLEY REGISTER

9. The U.S.-China trade war is hitting American wine country hard. Wineries who have created a strong foothold in China are at risk since China has hit back at American tariffs imposed on its goods with a combined 93 percent tariff and tax on American wine. That's up 48 percent in the past 16 months. -- US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT

10. Just for fun, Wine Folly has created an infographic that suggests wines based on Zodiac signs. For instance, compassionate, romantic, and quirky Pisces (like me) should be choosing full flavors of an Argentinian Malbec, or the jammy, dynamic aromas of a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon – two wines that are rarely my first choice. Hmmmmm..... -- WINE FOLLY

Robin Shreeves is a wine, beer, spirits and travel writer. She's the wine columnist and restaurant and beverage features writer for the Courier Post newspaper in New Jersey. She holds an Intermediate Sommelier certification from the Wine School of Philadelphia. Her food and drinks writing can be found at Wine Enthusiast, VinePair, Food Network, Spirited magazine, USA Today, Mother Nature Network, Drink Nation, Edible Philly and Edible Jersey. Visit her website wineandwonder.com and follow her on Instagram at @rshreeves

Editor: Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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